Waiver Wire: July 6

I still can’t find anything, and my earthly belongings are on a truck somewhere between New York and California – with New York being more likely despite me being in California. Ain’t moving grand? That said, let’s get on to the meat of the matter. To the Waiver Wire, dudes!

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians (42%)
This should serve as a reminder that Cabrera is still alive. The team has already begun talking about a rehab assignment, and he may be back soon after the All-Star break. Maybe the injury will sap some of his power, but it’s not like Cabrera was smacking the stuffing out of the ball anyway (.081 ISO) and power is not really his game. His feet should be fine – although one stolen base in 140+ 2010 plate appearances doesn’t inspire confidence. So wait, why do we like him? Well, Cabrera can put up a nice batting average (.287 career) and plays at a tough position. There are plenty of owners out there looking at worse situations at shortstop, and if they wanted to get ahead of the game and owned an open DL spot, they could drop their current shortstop, pick up Cabrera, and then pick up Jason Donald (1% owned in Yahoo leagues) for the meantime. Emulating the Cleveland Indians isn’t usually the way to go, but in this case, it should make for a player with a decent batting average at the very least. While Donald’s walk rate is not inspiring (4.9%), he doesn’t strike out much (18.2%) and his BABIP (.330) is not out of line for a man with his above-average wheels or current line drive percentage (22.9%). It looks like he can continue putting up the stats that he’s sporting right now in the short-term future.

Jayson Nix, Cleveland Indians (1% owned)
Hey, it’s Cleveland Indians’ Middle Infield Day! Chalk this up as a win for deep league owners, as most mixed leaguers will want to stay clear of the Cleveland ‘situation.’ Carson Cistulli noted that a) Cleveland’s lineup is wicked young; and b) Nix will be in the mix going forward. Young lineups and bad teams mean opportunities for fantasy managers, and if Nix wins the playing time at second base, he will be more than relevant in deeper leagues given his ability to put up above-average power (.185 ISO this year, .190 last) for a middle infielder. He even has a little speed (10 stolen bases, 2 caught stealing in 2009). Donald will shift over from shortstop once Cabrera returns and should give Nix a run for his money, but at some point, Nix’ batted ball luck will have to change. Do you know that his career BABIP is .234? That’s putrid. Even coming in 451 plate appearances, that is not sustainable. Yes, he’s a fly-ball hitter (48.3% career), and fly balls have worse BABIPs, but this is just ridiculous. Perhaps he needs to work on his line drive stroke (13.1% career, 10.6% this year), but the best news right now is that he has playing time for two weeks and the chance to catch fire. Long term, it’s either Donald that wins at the position, ostensibly for his defense, or as Satchel Price pointed out in his excellent “2013” series, Jason Kipnis for his good-looking bat.

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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

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